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Sex sells, sometimes.

It is tempting to add some spice to your visuals, voice, or vocabulary. But with sex, you have to decide whether you want to do it. And if so, how far you want to go.

Sex sells, but only sometimes. Yes, it's one of the fundamental driving forces of human nature. But particularly in the Americas and Asia you have to be prudent in the way you use it, or risk a negative reaction.

Sex work best when the product or service can honestly promise increased sex appeal: perfume, apparel, and expensive cars or jewelry. Or men's body wash.

Even such products as toothpaste can promise to make your breath fresher, your smile irresistibly kissable. With products like those, enhanced sexiness can be a persuasive product benefit, and thus a natural focus for your ad.

Of course, the use of sexuality can attract attention no matter the product or service. But sex can be risky, especially in categories that have zero sex appeal, such as banking.

Therein lies a creative opportunity. Depending on how far you're willing to go, sex in your ads can result in a breakthrough. The kind of campaign that gets people talking and cash registers ringing.

As a rule, never use sex in a manipulative way, like this:

SEX!
(Now that I have your attention,
let's talk auto insurance.)

Advertising Techniques Slideshow

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Creative tip: For international campaigns, and international audiences, keep in mind that sexual values and taboos very greatly around the world, from culture to culture.

You can show a lot of skin in Stockholm. But you'd get skinned alive for showing the same in Riyadh. Generally, Asian and Hispanic audiences are more conservative than Western audiences. And you will be wise to respect those cultural differences.

Advertising techniques

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Advertising techniques

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